Beau Bridges (centre) in Shimmering Light

In the late 1970s, ABC entered into a joint venture with Trans-Atlantic Enterprises in the US to produce six telemovies for broadcast in Australia and for sale overseas.

While the telemovies were filmed in Australia, they would feature American actors in lead roles — a common tactic to attract overseas interest in selling Australian-made productions.

One of the six telemovies was Shimmering Light, the story of an American university graduate whose decision to pursue his love of surfing in Australia put him in conflict with his father, who wants him to take a more traditional career path with a job in his company.

The telemovie, filmed on location in Sydney, had the original working title of Surf, and starred father and son actors Lloyd and Beau Bridges, playing the lead father and son roles. The pair had worked together before, such as on the 1960s adventure series Sea Hunt, when the younger Bridges was a teenager, but this was their first time playing major roles together.

Beau Bridges, Lloyd Bridges

The supporting cast included Australians John Meillon, Ingrid Mason (The Young Doctors, Blankety Blanks), Mark Hembrow (The Young Doctors), Wendy Playfair, Patrick Ward (The Unisexers, Number 96, Cop Shop) and Victoria Shaw. Although the younger Bridges performed some of the surfing scenes himself, the more technical or risky routines were performed by surfing champion Mark Warren as his stunt double.

Ingrid Mason, Beau Bridges

Shimmering Light also included a soundtrack from American band Fever.

The telemovie aired across Australia on ABC on 12 December 1978. According to Wikipedia, it was also sold for broadcast in the United Kingdom and Europe and on cable television in the United States.

Mark Warren (main photo)
(Click to enlarge)

The other telemovies made under the ABC/Trans-Atlantic partnership were Barnaby And Me (featuring actors Sid Caesar and Juliet Mills and former Young Talent Time star Sally Boyden), Because He’s My Friend (Karen Black), No Room To Run (Paula Prentiss and Richard Benjamin),  Puzzle (James Franciscus) and She’ll Be Sweet (Tony Lo Bianco and Sally Kellerman).

Source: TV Week, 9 December 1978. TV Times, 9 December 1978. Wikipedia, IMDB


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